Slavery in America: Impact on the Country's Economy

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One of the main issues discussed in my history classes was America’s history of enslaving black people. The same theme of slavery in America I want to write about in this essay. The injustice faced by African Americans throughout the history of America, more specifically during the sixteenth century up until the eighteenth century, was the only focus of the conversations about slavery. Until recently, I did not understand the effects of slavery on the economy of the United States. Slavery has been viewed for a long time as a phenomenon that only took place in the South, with this idea comes the assumption that slavery was not as prevalent in the North like it was in the South. Which I don't think is the truth. Historians have gone to great lengths to try to diminish the level of slavery across America. The South was not the only part of the United States that benefited from slavery, America as a whole did.

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History of Slavery in America

Slavery in America was largely credited to the South because that's where the main commodities that were important in the world trade was produced, but the North also played a major role in keeping slavery alive. America tries to push away the influence of slavery, but we shouldn’t, because it was the hard work done by slaves that not only allowed America to pay off its debts, but it also helped put the US in a position to become a powerful economy. The triangular trade which took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries helped to improve the United States' economic status. Goods such as tobacco, rice, rum, and indigo, were important in the triangular trade, which were mostly harvested on the plantations by slaves. Profits from trading commodities in exchange for slaves in West Africa fueled the rise of the US economy. Cotton, which was grown by slaves in the South, also play an important role in elevating America to global economic dominance. Cotton became extremely profitable during the 1830s and 1840s, benefiting both the North and South as well as Great Britain.

The slavery economy of the United States South is deeply tied financially to the North, to Britain, to the point that people are buying financial products in the other places were in effect owning slaves, and were extracting money from labor of enslaved people. Slavery in the North was just as important as it was in the South however, slavery just so happened to evolve differently throughout the colonies. Plantations were mostly in the South because, the land in the North was not suitable for growing crops due to the year-round climate change. Slavery still thrived in the Northern American colonies, despite there being fewer slaves in the North than in the South. Northern merchants helped to arrange deliveries of cotton to global markets while profiting from the Atlantic trade consisting of slaves, rum, cotton, and other goods. The North also provided the South with the necessary tools, textiles, and supplies that were needed to sustain the plantations.

The benefits of slave-produced cotton extended to industries beyond the South, the North and Great Britain, cotton mills hummed, while the financial and shipping industries also saw gains. Without a doubt, the economic growth is largely credited to slaves and their hard work. The South's slave economy had become very successful during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries due to America’s international economic reach. This was because most of the cotton was sold abroad, which helped link the United States to the global marketplace. The profits that came from the slave trade, and slave labor were used to fund infrastructure projects, such as buildings, roads, railways, and many more.

The enslavement of black people is not a side story in America’s history, but rather the story of how generations of enslaved Africans by forced labor played an important role in creating the land of the free. American prosperity was built on two and a half centuries of slavery. As far as how the industrial system works today, both the business and the workers must benefit from a business that uses employees, but during slavery this was not the case. Nothing was paid to slaves as America took advantage of their labor. After many decades, the benefits of enslaving African Americans has helped the US to expand economically through industries, including commerce, banking, transportation, manufacturing, insurance, etc.

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